Gasoline prices are falling, but retailers are failing to pass on the full wholesale price reduction to motorists.
According to the RAC’s Fuel Watch, the cost of petrol in July fell by nearly 9 pence per litre, to an average of 182.69 pa litre. This means filling a standard 55-litre tank is now £5 cheaper than at the start of July (£105.29 to £100.48).
Diesel costs fell by almost 7p a liter during the month, from 199.07p to 192.38p, reducing the cost of a full tank by £3.68 (£109.41 to 105 £.81).
However, despite these cost reductions being among the largest seen in the last 20 years, retailers including the ‘big four’ supermarkets – Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s – are failing to pass on the full reduction in wholesale prices on their customers.
The wholesale price of petrol has fallen for eight consecutive weeks, falling from 151.93p at the start of June to 131.75p at the end of July. Yet, on average, retailers passed on just 9p of that 20p cut to motorists.
The RAC estimate that unleaded petrol and diesel should cost around 167p and 182p a liter respectively, meaning drivers are paying up to £9 more than necessary to fill up.
Simon Williams, fuel spokesman for the RAC, said: “July was an unnecessarily difficult month for drivers due to the reluctance of the big four supermarkets to reduce their prices to a more reasonable level, reflecting the continued reductions and significant changes in the wholesale price of gasoline. and diesel.
The UK has the second highest petrol prices in Europe
Separate data from RAC Europe indicated that fuel costs in the UK remain well above those in the EU, where petrol and diesel cost an average of 159p and 161p per liter respectively.
Fuel tax cuts have also been much more generous in Europe than in the UK. Germany has reduced fuel taxes by the equivalent of 25 pence per litre, Italy by 21 pence per liter and Portugal by 16 pence per litre, eclipsing the 5 pence per liter reduction announced by the UK in March.
This puts the UK – alongside Denmark which has identical fuel costs – as the second most expensive country to fill up a tank. Only Finland, where petrol costs 190 pence a litre, is more expensive.
However, UK drivers planning to drive to Europe this summer will benefit from lower petrol prices on the continent. According to the RAC, the average cost of filling a 55-litre family car with petrol is £90 in France, compared to £102 in the UK.
Simon Williams added: “This analysis lays bare an uncomfortable truth for the UK government – that compared to other European countries, it is doing about the least to support drivers during the current period of record high prices for the fuel.”